Improved Data Privacy for Employees

Press Release /

The joint project “TrUSD – Transparente und selbstbestimmte Ausgestaltung der Datennutzung im Unternehmen“ (Transparent and self-determined design of data usage in organizations) started in September 2018. In this project, a practice-oriented and legally compliant approach for technology-supported employee data privacy is being developed. As one of five project partners, Fraunhofer IESE is investigating models and methods for ensuring self-determination and transparency for employees with regard of their privacy requirements.

© Fraunhofer IESE

In the course of digitalization, more and more data is being collected and evaluated in organizations. This trend forms the basis for process optimizations, but also poses new challenges when it comes to employees‘ data privacy because if personal data of employees is involved, their right to informational self-determination is affected. “Employee movement data can be used, for example, to optimize inefficiently organized warehouses, but also to create impermissible movement profiles”, explains Marco Hess, managing director of HK Business Solutions.

More transparency and self-determination for personal employee data

The TrUSD project builds a bridge between the potentials of data analysis and the right of employees to privacy. The problem: In most cases, employees neither have the knowledge to assess the possible consequences of data collection for their privacy, nor do they have the means to enforce their privacy preferences. In TrUSD, so-called Privacy Dashboards will therefore be developed, which will display all necessary information to the employees in a bundled and understandable manner and will offer corresponding setting options. Employers will also benefit from the envisioned solutions, as they will be able to create legally compliant data evaluations and reports in agreement with the employees.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the three-year project TrUSD in the context of the German government’s research framework program on IT security called “Self-determination and security in the digital world”. The consortium consists of HK Business Solutions, the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE, the Institute for Technology and Work, TH Köln/University of Applied Sciences, and Saarland University. In order to substantiate the practical suitability of the project results, ten associated partners will also be brought on board . The publication of many project results will also allow companies that are not involved in the project to benefit from the results. “’Privacy made in Germany’ already enjoys high reputation today”, says Hess. “With TrUSD, we want to further expand and strengthen this competitive edge of German manufacturers.”

More information about the research project TrUSD can be found at: